Brown is the Most Important Color! But, Why?

Brown is the Most Important Color! But, Why?

Posted by Kate Manville-Schwartz on Jun 2nd 2021

I'm going to tell you why, but first, I want you to think about what is the darkest color that occurs in nature (Hint: look closely at the photo, not the shadow). Got it? 

That was a trick question because black, gray and white are values, not actual colors. 

It's Brown! Brown is the most often seen, naturally occurring, darkest color you can find outside. Remember when you were little, maybe in elementary school art class and you probably used ALL the colors on your palette. What color did they turn? 


It might have been a warm reddish brown, or a cool blue brown, but those are all variations of brown. Now as an adult learner, you need to understand how to mix brown using color theory, so that you can get realistic paintings.

The three primaries: Red+Blue+Yellow = Brown

Depending on how you mix your color, you can find the perfect neutral (AKA brown) for your paintings by adding more of one primary color, then the other two. Looking for a warm orange brown? You use yellow and red, then a tiny bit of blue. This will take experimentation, so don't be nervous, just start moving paint around on your palette, a little bit at a time. The more you work with your paint the more confident you will become! 

Want to know more? We have one spot left in our upcoming, Understanding Color class, starting 6/21! Claim that last seat>>> here